SFC Volunteer Statement of Code of Conduct and Ethics

Volunteers are the foundation of Sherwood Firewise Communities. As such, we strive for high and uniform standards of behavior. Please review the following if you are considering becoming a volunteer for SFC:

Our Core Concepts for SFC Volunteers and Code of Conduct and Ethics

We promote freedom of expression, creativity, and open communication. And we expect all members to follow our code of conduct. Members should avoid insulting or offending, participating in serious disputes that disrupts the SFC mission.  

The SFC must earn public trust every day and in every possible way.  Steering Group (SG) Members, Working Team (WT) Coordinators, Project Volunteers and other individuals within SFC must demonstrate their ongoing commitment to the core values of integrity, honesty, fairness, openness, respect, and responsibility. We must embrace the highest standards of integrity. Transparency, openness and responsiveness to public concerns must be integral to our behavior. Name-calling, gossip and intolerant behavior, harassment, and disrespect will not be tolerated. We should be clear and respectful in our associations.

We find strength in diversity. Different people have different perspectives on issues, and that can be valuable for solving problems or generating new ideas. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. Don’t forget that we all make mistakes, and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere.

Specific Rules of Conduct

  • Do not engage in conduct that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and/or California harassment laws.
  • If conflicts arise that do not require investigation or rise to the level of serious violation, (such as harassment, assault, violations of law), request mediation within the SG.
  • No name calling.
  • No attacking people’s character.
  • Recognize and acknowledge diversity and differences.
  • Respect differing opinions
  • Disagree without being disagreeable
  • Attend to principles before personalities
  • All feelings are legitimate
  • Use “I” statements
  • One person talks at a time.  No cross-talk.
  • Let the person finish speaking, without interruption.  
  • Be aware that if time is limited, one person may be requested to be the timekeeper to insure that all members are heard and on topic.
  • Be honest in what you are saying.
  • Be willing to take some risks.
  • Focus on issues not positions.
  • Stay solution and topic focused.
  • Avoid  gossip or talking about others in a negative manner.
  • Avoid sarcasm, and side talk during meetings.

Statement of Ethics

A. Personal and Professional Integrity SFC Steering Group (SG) Members, Working Team (WT) Coordinators and Project Volunteers shall act with honesty, integrity and openness in all their dealings as representatives of the Organization. SFC promotes a working environment that is open to all that support the SFC Mission and values respect, fairness and integrity.

B. SFC has a clearly stated mission and purpose, approved by the Steering Group, in pursuit of the public good. The SFC mission is to make Sherwood Corridor residents safer and properties more prepared for emergencies through civic engagement programs and practical capacity-building projects that reduce risks to life, property, and resources caused by wildfires and earthquakes. All SFC programs shall support that mission and all who work for or on behalf of the organization will understand and be loyal to that mission and purpose. The mission shall be responsive to all subdivisions and neighborhoods served by SFC.

C. SFC has an active governing and vision body, the SG, which is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the Organization, oversight of the finances and  operations, and enforcement of the policies of the Organization. The SG ensures that its WT Coordinators have the requisite skills and experience to carry out their duties and that all members understand their duties acting for the benefit of SFC and its public purpose.

D.  All SG, WT, and active volunteers assigned projects  and volunteer consultants will be requested to have on file a current resume, application, and signed Volunteer Agreement.

Conflict of Interest

The SFC conflict of interest policy ensures that any conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, retraction, mediation or other means.  SFC conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty; ensures that the Organization promotes working relationships with  members,  volunteers, and program beneficiaries that are based on mutual respect, fairness and openness; ensures that the organization is fair and inclusive in its appointment policies for all  volunteer positions; ensures that the policies of the Organization are in writing, clearly articulated and officially adopted by both SFC SG Members and WT Coordinators; and, ensures that the Organization has the capacity to carry out its programs effectively. 

The Steering Group reserves the right to remove a volunteer from SFC for any reason.

All Steering Group, Working Team Coordinators and Project Volunteers are requested to read and sign this Statement of Code of Conduct and Ethics.